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Certified copy of the Treaty of Versailles (Unperfected Treaty) Section on League of Nations, c. 1919

In 1919, the Allied nations met in Paris to negotiate the treaty with Germany ending World War I. President Woodrow Wilson brought his own agenda to the talks. Wilson’s highest priority was to establish an international peacekeeping organization—the League of Nations. The U.S. Senate, which holds exclusive power to permit ratification of treaties, rejected the treaty largely because of this provision.

General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

Certified copy of the Treaty of Versailles

Promoting International Peace

The Treaty of Versailles, negotiated at the end of World War I, included provisions for a League of Nations—an international organization to promote peace. Although President Wilson campaigned aggressively for U.S. participation, some members of Congress firmly opposed involvement, and the U.S. Senate did not consent to ratify the treaty. Not until 1945, with the creation of the United Nations after World War II, did the U.S. join an international organization to promote cooperation and peaceful resolutions of conflict.